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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Gale, Theophilus

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a learned nonconformist divine, was born in 1628, at King's Teignton, in Devonshire, He entered Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1647, and became fellow in 1650. In 1652 he passed A.M., and soon became an eminent tutor and a distinguished preacher in the university. In 1657 he was invited to Winchester, and became a stated preacher there, in which station he continued for several years. Having imbibed the principles of the nonconformists, on the re-establishment of episcopacy, at the restoration of Charles the Second, he refused to comply with the Act of Uniformity which passed in 1661. Deprived of his fellowship at Oxford, he was taken into the family of Philip, lord Wharton, in the capacity of tutor to his two sons. He was a diligent and multifarious student. In 1669 he published the first part of The Court of the Gentiles; or, a Discourse touching the Original of human Literature, both Philology and Philosophy, from the Scriptures and Jewish Church (Oxford and London 5 volumes, 4to). It was received with great applause, and was reprinted in 1672-1682. "In the first part of this learned work, Mr. Gale endeavors to prove that all languages have their origin and rise from the Hebrew. To this he adds a deduction, importing that the pagan theology, physic, politics; poetry, history, rhetoric, are deduced from sacred names, persons, rites, and records; and showing, withal, how the Jewish traditions came to be corrupted and mistaken by pagans. In the second part he tries to prove that philosophy also has its origin from the Jewish Church. In the third part, the vanity of pagan philosophy is demonstrated from its causes, parts, properties, and effects; namely, pagan idolatry, Judaic apostasy, Gnostic infusions, errors among the Greek fathers, especially Origenism, Arianism, Pelagianism, and the whole system of popery, or anti-Christianism, distributed into three parts, mystic, scholastic, and canonic theology. In the fourth part he treats of reformed philosophy, wherein Plato's moral or metaphysic, or prime philosophy, is reduced to a useful form or method. He divides this, which is larger than any of the former parts, into three books, discoursing in the first of moral philosophy; in the second, of metaphysics; and in the third, of divine predetermination." In 1677 he was chosen to succeed Mr. Rowe as pastor. He died at Newington, 1678. Besides The Court of the Gentiles, he published in Latin an abridgment of it for the use of students, under the title of Philosophia Generalis, etc. (Lond. 1676, 8vo) Theophily; or, a Discourse of the Saints' Amity with God in Christ (Lond. 1671, 8vo): The true Idea of Jansenism, both historic and dogmatic (1669, 8vo): The Anatomy of Infidelity (1672, 8vo): A Discourse on the coming of Christ (1673, 8vo): Idea Theologioe, etc. (12mo): and The Life and Death of Thomas Tregasse (1671, 8vo). Jones, Christ. Biog.; Shedd, Hist. of Doct. 1:205.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gale, Theophilus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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